Useful Beliefs

do you believe in Father Christmas, do you believe in a brave New Year?

do you believe in the ten commandments, is your life filled with fear?

To believe is to accept that something exists, or that something is true, when there is no evidence or proof to back up that belief.  Millions of children around the world believe in Father Christmas, Santa Claus, Kris Kringle, Saint Nicholas…..  He will remain in the hearts of children forever, and the children have proof, he brings them toys and other gifts every Christmas.  This belief is useful too, for doesn’t he have a list of who’s been naughty and who’s been nice, checking it twice before he leaves toys and presents for the nice children, and a lump of coal for the naughty boys and girls.  A perfect cautionary tale for parents to blackmail their kids into being nice near Christmas.

Some beliefs are neither useful nor true ~ like a Flat Earth.  Those who believe the Earth is flat are either deranged, or willfully stupid, or as thick as two short planks.  There is plenty of evidence to prove the planet Earth is more or less a sphere, as are all the other planets visible through a telescope.  Also believing in a flat Earth is not useful, since long-distance navigation is based on the great circle theory, which is navigating a ship or an aircraft using spherical trigonometry.  Ergo believers in a flat Earth should never ever get on an aircraft or go on a cruise.

One does not have to believe everything one hears.  ~  Cicero

Another belief that is neither useful or true is Alien Visitation.  There are plenty of spurious reasons given to prove that alien visitation happens all the time, and I don’t believe any of them.  There is also one crushing piece of evidence to disprove the very idea that creatures / people from the stars regularly visit the Earth ~ nothing can travel faster than the speed of light.  The nearest known exoplanet is 4.25 light years away, so allowing for basic physics that means a round-trip of about 12 years, even if our starship can get near the speed of light.  Just never going to happen.

One false belief that is useful is in Pythagoras’ theorem; the square on the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the squares on the other two sides.  Or more practically just remember 3,4,5.  This is mostly true, but some believe it is always true.  Try navigating from England to New York using Pythagoras and the Gods only know where you will land.  Sometimes even the dearest held, and most provable belief is only mostly true.

Believing in God, any God, is maybe the most commonly held belief of them all, along with whichever prophet fits the religion of your choice.  This belief is useful to many, especially the clergy of every religion, but there is no proof whatsoever, and that’s the whole point.  Religion is all about Faith not Belief ~ and if you start to look into Faith you get into a circular argument.  Anyway I think religion isn’t based on faith, it’s about the fear of eternal damnation

Some say that real belief needs no proof.  And that faith is trust without reservation.  All I know is I trust scientific and engineering methodologies more than I trust priests and demagogues. And I believed in Love.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

the Earth is positively not flat

 

 

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